You went to college. You obtained your degree. You landed a good job and may have even landed several jobs since graduation. You may have also taken advantage of the opportunity to obtain a second degree or MBA while working full-time. You have led various employee resource groups. You have helped recruit talent. You have trained and developed people. You have led change management strategies. You have received countless rewards of recognition. You have relocated multiple times. You even have been brought in on special projects for your expertise. You have been flown in for leadership groups. You have countless books on leadership development, emotional intelligence, servitude leadership, and you may have even received multiple promotions, but now your career is at a standstill. Due to the economy, life changes, and company changes, you have found yourself full of knowledge but with few to advocate for your advancement. It’s been a few years, and you still have not obtained the promotion you have been reaching for. Your brain is overflowing with knowledge, and you may feel as if that knowledge is no longer valued. So now you take the leap, and entrepreneurship is your next move. You know that you want to be a consultant because you have so much knowledge to offer and you hope to help professionals best maximize their careers. In the past, you may have measured your professional worth based on titles, experience, recognition, and leadership roles. Now, it may be difficult for you to communicate all of your expertise to your target audience. You have reached the point where you have to develop your service offering, brand story, and streamlined delivery of how you solve the problem of your audience. BUT WAIT!!! You’re worried about not being able to tell them everything you have done to validate that fact that you are a subject matter expert. Being able to analyze all of your experiences, accomplishments, and contributions will be essential for you. So, you may be wondering what to do next. Your next steps should be as follows:
1.) Write down all of your professional accomplishments, key learnings, awards obtained, groups you have participated in, books you have read and so on. Think about the experiences that have impacted you the most.
2.) After writing all of this out, start to look for commonalities and themes from a skills perspective. What problems were you best at solving? What experiences or recognition validated that?
3.) Next, start to write down all of your soft-skills and technical skills. How do those skills relate to the problem that you would like to solve?
4.) Next, think about the types of people that you enjoy solving problems for the most. Where can you find those people? Are they online? What groups are they a part of? What types of events do they attend? How would they benefit from what you have to share with them?
5.) Next, start thinking about the educational resources, books, programs, etc. that are going to help you master the area that you would like to use most to solve the problems of your audience.
6.) Once, you have enhanced your skills to a level that you are comfortable with, now it is time to start thinking about how you would like to position yourself as a subject matter expert.
7.) Once you have identified where your audience can be found, you will need to start providing them with content around the problem that you solve consistently. This may be in the form of blog posts, online learning tools, speaking events, social media marketing, consulting sessions and more.
In conclusion, providing your audience with resources that help address their problem will help you grow your audience and enhance leads. Once you have successfully positioned yourself as a subject matter expert in your space, online and off-line marketing becomes easier.